These things I’ve been saying the last few days are nothing new… We’re called to holy living. We all know it. The people who go about saying, “You can get saved and there doesn’t need to be any change in your life!” are reading a different Bible, or not reading one at all.
What gets me the most is the easy believism movement. They decry any teaching that there is to evidence of a changed life if you’re a Christian – as if the goal of the Christian life is still to be involved in the same fornications, adulteries, blasphemies and other sins we committed while still in the world!
The easy believer is correct… partially. Salvation is completely simple. You have to stop and think about the person who is at the end of their rope and cries out to God, convicted and in fear of Hell… How difficult is it for them! If’ you’re drowning, you already can’t save yourself. You throw up a hand and shout, “Save me!”
And the Lord does. THe Easy Believer triumphantly points out, “how were they saved in Acts?”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:37-41 (KJV)
“They Believed, and were saved!”
Yes, but you stopped looking too soon.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:42-47 (KJV)
They continued steadfastly… If someone walks down an aisle and makes a prayer, and never again darkens the door of a church, would you say they’re saved? I’d say first and foremost, they prayed a prayer they must not have meant. Or they didn’t understand the Gospel.
This is one of the biggest dangers I see right now, the churches being flooded with people who don’t really understand the Gospel, We cheapened the Gospel, cut it out, neutered it. Why, brother, don’t you see? God just wants you to be happy! Friends, there’s a lot of happy sinners out there, happy in their sins. People look forward to going out to the nightclubs every Friday and Saturday night. Nobody is thinking, “I don’t want to go!” and then going!
So, when we tell a sinner that God wants them to be happy, they may be looking for just something else, they may be momentarily depressed, they may have had a bad time last night because someone else danced with the person they wanted to go dancing with or whatever.
If you REALLY understood what the Gospel was, you’d either harden your heart, or you’d get saved.
So let me give you the old fashioned Gospel, the REAL Gospel, the one the Salvation Army used to preach about on street corners, the one that Hollywood used to mock.
Friend, did you know you’re a sinner? What is sin, you may ask? Sin is the rebellion against God, the committing of any act He has forbidden to do. Sin is the breaking of God’s Holy Law.
You don’t think you’ve ever broken God’s Law? Well, let’s see what the Bible has to say.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 (KJV)
Who does the Bible say has sinned? All have sinned. All includes you, me, and the other guy you see walking down the street. Look around you… sinner, sinner, sinner. Everyone you see is.
Sin is the breaking of the law. You know that everyone was born a sinner, but that everyone can be concluded a sinner, God will someday judge the world. He’s going to make everyone on earth account for every word they’ve spoken, all their deeds, all their sins, right down to their thoughts. Would you like your thought life exposed so all can see? You want every word you’ve ever said to be examined by God? How would you do???
I know you’re saying, “Hey, I’m not a bad guy.” Thats the excuse of every human being. NOBODY thinks they’re a bad person, they just made a few mistakes, right? Wrong. THe Bible says all have sinned. One sin can send you to Hell. Have you ever lied? The Bible says
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8 (KJV)
There’s no getting around it. We all think, “Good people go to heaven, bad people go to Hell.” Well, let me put it this way – that’s not what the Bible says.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (KJV)
The Bible says if you have sinned once, even told one little white lie, you are destined for Hell forever. There is no bargaining, no probation. You cannot earn your way into heaven. The Bible calls it a gift. If you work for someone, you get paid a wage, not a gift. The Bible contrasts the two, wages versus a gift.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (KJV)
Are you born again? If you’re not, here’s the truth – you’re going to burn in torment and agony from the moment you die until the Judgment seat of God. You’ll have to answer for every act, word, thought. And then He will pronounce your sentence. If you’re appearing at the Great White Throne judgment as a defendant, you’re not going to heaven. No, the amount of punishment you will receive in Hell is being determined. And it’s forever. You will burn forever, suffering pain, torment, tears without end, eternal thirst. Ever had a burn? Can you imagine that pain, but a million times worse lasting forever?
There’s good news, though. You can be saved from Hell.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 (KJV)
God has provided a way, coming to earth in a human body, and taking on Himself the penalty for your sins. He bore the penalty of your sins upon the Cross, and gave you the gift of salvation if you choose to recieve it. It’s that easy.
If you don’t want to go to Hell, there’s only one way. John 14:6 says 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (KJV)
Call upon the Lord Jesus. Admit to Him you’re a sinner. Beg forgiveness for your sins, and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from Hell. Tell Him you want to serve Him forever, and ask Him to give you eternal life. Pray it in your own words.
Here’s the important part – Trust the Lord Jesus to save you. He told you He would if you ask. Ask, and believe.
What else? What else do you have to do? Are there any sins left over now? Can you lose what was just given to you?
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (KJV)
If you’ve understood the wages of your sins, and have become convinced nobody can save you from Hell except God, and prayed the prayer, you are now saved. You should see some evidence of the change in your life now. You’ll be convicted when you sin. You may be able to sin, but you’re not going to be free of conviction.
You’ll find you want to start avoiding certain things. Things you used to do and justified to yourself, now bring you an uncomfortable feeling that you shouldn’t do them!
What do you do now? Go tell someone else about Jesus Christ. And get your Bible out. I only recommend the King James Bible, as you’ll find out if you try to read all the posts on this blog – which should take you a while.
You’re a New Testament believer, so I recommend you begin reading the New Testament. You should read the Gospel of John first, then go back and read the other three Gospels. Then the rest of the New Testament, then finally the entire Bible from start to finish. This is not the only time you should read it! THis marks the beginning of a lifetime of study.
I’ll be helping you over the next few days, guiding you in avoiding common mistakes the average Christian makes.